Linda Stirling Unmasked: The Black Whip

: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.



Final Reflections On Cannes: The Festival And Beyond

                Lebanese Director Nadine Labaki

By Annette Insdorf

Now that the 64th Cannes Film Festival has ended, we can expect some terrific films to be released in the second half of 2011. The general consensus was that the 20 films in competition included gems that can reach a wide audience, even beyond the few that received awards at last night's closing ceremony (list of winners below). And there were dozens of acclaimed movies presented by other sections over the 12-day period.

My favorite Cannes film of 2011 was Nadine Labaki's "Where Do We Go Now?" (shown in the "Un Certain Regard" sidebar). The second feature of the Lebanese director of "Caramel," it is about Christian and Muslim women uniting to prevent male violence from erupting. This fable is humanist as well as femi0nist, poetic as well as political. Labaki (who also stars in "Where Do We Go Now?") was awarded the Francois Chalais prize by a jury of French filmmakers on May 21: it is named in honor of a major film critic, and is given annually "to a fiction filmmaker who has best captured the world's reality." The prize was presented by actors Marisa Berenson and George Chakiris (yes, the "Shark" from "West Side Story")...


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